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Of Heaven, again the ominous warner cried,
Commence thy course of glory! Time hath seen Woe! woe! the Cycle of the Years is full!
Four generations of mankind destroyed, Quench every fire! Extinguish every light!
When the four Suns expired; Oh, let not thou, And every fire was quenched, and every light
Human thyself of yore, the human race
Languish and die in darkness!
The fourth Sun Began the rites. They gashed themselves, and plunged Had perished; for the mighty Whirlwinds rose, Into the sacred pond of Eza pan,
And swept it, with the dust of the shattered world, Till the clear water, on whose bed of sand
Into the great abyss. The eternal Gods
And shedding on the bones of the destroyed
A quickening dew, from them, as from a seed, All venomous things that fly, or wind their path Made a new race of humankind spring up, With sinuous trail, or crawl on reptile feet.
The menials of the fleroes born of Heaven. These, in one cauldron, o'er the sacred fire
But in the firmament no orb of day They scorch, till of the loathsome living tribes, Performed its course; Nature was blind; the fount Who, writing in their burning agonies,
Of light had ceased to flow; the eye of Heaven Fix on each other ill-directed wounds,
Was quenched in darkness. In the sad obscure, Ashes alone are left. In infants' blood
The earth-possessors to their parent Gods
And, in obedience, raised a flaming pile.
Hopeful they circled it, when from above
The voice of the Invisible proclaimed, Holds on. Again Patamba's streets receive
That he who bravely plunged amid the fire The ominous voice,- Woe! woe! the Sun pursues Should live again in Heaven, and there shine forth His journey to the limits of his course!
The Sun of the young World. The Hero race Let every man in darkness veil his wife,
Grew pale, and from the fiery trial shrunk.
Thou, O Nahuaztin, thou, O mortal horn,
Heardëst! thy heart was strong, the flames received That they may see again the birth of light!
Their victim, and the humbled Heroes saw
Welcome the coming of the new-born God.
0, human once, now let not humankind That they might see the birth of light once more. Languish, and die in darkness!
In the East Westward the Sun proceeds; the tall tree casts
Then didst thou pause to see the Hero race A longer shade; the night-eyed insect tribes
Perish. In vain, with impious arms, they strove Wake to their portion of the circling hours;
Against thy will ; in vain against thine orb The water-fowl, retiring to the shore,
They shot their shafts; the arrows of their pride Sweep in long files the surface of the lake.
Fell on themselves; they perished, to thy praise. Then from Patamba to the sacred mount
So perish still thine impious enemies, The Priests go forth; but with no songs of joy, O Lord of Day! But to the race devout, Nor cheerful instruments they go, nor train
their morning sacrifice, Of festive followers; silent and alone,
Honouring thy yodhead, and with morning hymns, Leading one victim to his dreadful death,
And with the joy of music and of dance, They to the mountain-summit wend their way. Welcome thy glad uprise, -to them, 0 Sun,
Still let the fountain-streams of splendour flow! On the south shore, and level with the lake,
Still smile on them propitious, thou whose smile Patamba stood; westward were seen the walls
Is light and life and joyance! Once again, Of Aztlan rising on a gentle slope;
Parent of Being, Prince of Glory, rise!
Begin thy course of beauty once again!
Slowly they wound their way. The multitude Was visible far off. In the vale below,
repeat the strain ; with fearful eyes Along the level borders of the lake,
They watch the spreading glories of the west; The assembled Aztecas, with wistful eye,
And when at length the hastening orb bath sunk Gaze on the sacred summit, hoping there
Below the plain, such sinking at the heart Soon to behold the fire of sacrifice
They feel, as he who hopeless of return Arise, sure omen of continued light.
From his dear home departs. Still on the light, The Pabas to the sacred peak begin
The last green light that lingers in the west, Their way, and as they go, with ancient songs
Their looks are fastened, till the clouds of night Hymn the departing Sun.
Roll on, and close in darkness the whole heaven. 0, Light of Life,
Theo ccased their songs; then o'er the crowded vale Yet once again arise! yet once again
No voice of man is heard. Silent and still
They siood, all turned toward the east, in hope
Who thronged her level shores? The mighty Lake
The Moon arose; she shone
The Migration of the Aztecas.
Roll down the mountain-side in streams of fire; Felt yet severer awe; so solemnly still
Down to the lake they roll, and yet
roll on, The thronging thousands stood. The breeze was heard All burning, through the waters. Heaven above That rustled in the reeds; the little wave,
Glows round the burning mount, and fiery clouds Which rippled to the shore and left no foam,
Scour through the black and starless firmament. Sent its low murmurs far.
Far off, the Eagle, in her mountain-nest,
But the storm hath ceased;
Is struggling through the eastern cloud, the barks On his bare breast, the cedar boughs are laid;
Of Madoc on the waters! On his bare breast, dry sedge and odorous gums
Who is he Laid ready to receive the sacred spark,
On yonder crag, all dripping from the lake, And blaze, to herald the ascending Sun,
Who hath escaped its depths? He lies along, Upon his living altar. Round the wretch
Now near exhaust with self-preserving toil, The inhuman ministers of rites accurst
And still his eye dwells on the spreading waves, Scand, and expect the signal when to strike,
Where late the multitudes of Aztlan stood, The seed of fire. Their Chief, Tezozomoc,
Collected in their strength. It is the King
Of Aztlan, who, extended on the rock,
The barks of Madoc plying to preserve
The strugglers !--but how few ! upon
crags Break through the orient sky.
Which verge the northern shore, upon the heights Impatiently
Eastward, how few bave refuged! Then the King The multitude await the happy sign.
Almost repented him of life preserved, Long hath the midnight past, and every hour,
And wished the waves had whelmed him, or the sword Yea every moment, to their torturing fears
Fallen on him, ere this ill, this wretchedness, Seemed lengthened out, insufferably long.
This desolation. Spirit-troubled thus, Silent they stood, and breathless in suspense.
He called to mind how, from the first, his heart The breeze had fallen; no stirring breath of wind
Inclined to peace, and how reluctantly, Rustled the reeds. Oppressive, motionless,
Obedient to the Pabas and their Gods, It was a labour and a pain to breathe
Had he to this unhappy war been driven. The close, hot, heavy air.-Hark! from the woods All now was ended : it remained to yield, The howl of their wild tenants! and the birds,
To obey the inevitable will of lleaven, The day-birds, in blind darkness fluttering,
From Aztlan to depart. thus he mused, Fearful to rest, uttering portentous cries!
A bird, upon a bough which overhung Anon, the sound of distant thunders came;
The rock, as though in echo to his thought, They peal beneath their feet. Earth shakes and yawns, Cried out, -Depart! depart! for so the note, And lo! upon the sacred mountain's top,
Articulately in his native tongue, The light-the mighty flame! A cataract
Spake to the Azteca.72 The King looked up. Of fire bursts upward from the mountain-head, - The hour, the horrors round him, had impressed High-high,-it shoots! the liquid fire boils out; Feelings and fears well fitted to receive It streams --it torrents down! Tezozomoc
All superstition; and the voice which cried, Beholds the judgment: wretched, -wretched man! Depart! depart! seemed like the voice of fate. On the upmost pinnacle he stands, and secs
He thought, perhaps Coanocotzin's soul, The la va floods beneath him: and his hour
Descending from his blissful halls in the hour Js come. The fiery shower, descending, heaps
Of evil thus to comfort and advise, Red ashes round; they fall like drifted snows,
Hovered above him. And bury and consume the accursed Priest.
Lo! toward the rock,
Oaring with feeble arms his difficult way,
To lift him from the depth. The King descends Where is Patamba? where the multitudes
Timely in aid; he holds the feeble one
By his long locks, and on the safety-place
To the heights they went
cager eyes and wretched hope. The King beheld and groaned; against a tree He leant, and bowed his head, subdued of soul,
In the dark midnight, go and burn and kill,
Then the King
The word yet vibrated Fresh on their hearing, when the Bird above, Flapping bis heavy wings, repeats the sound, Depart! depart!-Ye hear! the King exclaimed; It is an omen sent to me from Heaven; I heard it late in solitude, the voice Of fale. It is Coanocotzin's soul, Who counsels our departure. And the Bird Still flew around, and in his wheeling flight Pronounced the articulate note. The people heard In faith, and Tlalala made no reply; But dark his brow, and gloomy was liis frown.
Then spake the King, and called a messenger,
Meantime, amid the crowd, doth Tlalala
But Tlalala represt
The King looked up,-
The herald went his way, circuitous,
so shall this visitation prove A blessing, if it knit the bonds of
peace, And make us as one people.
We bow before their will! To them we yield;
Whom wisely fear and feebleness deter To you, their favourites, we resign the land
To tempt strange paths, through swamp and wilderness Our fathers conquered. Never more may Fate, And hostile tribes, for these Yuhidthiton In your days or your children's, to the end
Asks thy protection. Under thy mild sway,
They will remember me without regret,
Yet not without affection. They shall be
My people, Madoc answered. -- And the rites Throughout the land: North, south, and east, and west, Of holiness transmitted from their sires, Proclaim the ruin. Say to all who bear
Pursued the King, - will tliese be suffered them ?The name of Azteca, that Heaven liath crushed Blood must not flow, the Christian Prince replied; Their country: Say, the voice of Heaven was heard, - No Priest must dwell among us; that hath been Heard ye it not?-bidding us leave the land,
The cause of all this misery!-Enough, Who shakes us from her bosom. Ye will find
Yuhidthiton replied; I ask no more. Women, old men, and babes; the many, weak
It is not for the conquered to impose Of body and of spirit ill prepared,
conqueror. With painful toil, through long and dangerous ways
Then he turned, To seek another country. Say to thein,
And lifted up bis voice, and called upon The White Men will not lift the arm of power
The people :- All whom fear or feebleness Against the feeble; here they may remain
Withhold from following my adventurous path, In peace, and to the
Prince Madoc will receive. No blood must flow,
The strangers' easy yoke: beneath their sway
Ye will remember me without regret. He bade a pile be raised upon top
Soon take your choice, and speedily depart, Of that high eminence, to all the winds
Lest ye impede the adventurers.--As he spake Exposed. They raised the pile, and left it free Tears flowed, and groans were heard. The line was To all the winds of Heaven; Yuhidthiton
drawn, Alone approached it, and applied the torch.
Which whoso would accept the Strangers' yoke The day was calm, and o'er the flaming pile
Should pass. A multitude o'erpast the line; The wavy smoke hung lingering, like a inist
But all the youth of Aztian crowded round
Yuhidthiton, their own beloved Kiog.
So two days long, with unremitting toil,
Bore due supply; and to new habitants Crossed it, and beat its top, and drove it on,
The city of the Cymry spread her gates; Straight over Azuan. An acclaiming shout
And in the vale around, and on the heights, Welcomed the will of Heaven; for lo, the smoke Their numerous tents were pitched. Meantime the tale Fast travelling on, while not a breath of air
Of ruin went abroad, and how the Gods
Had driven her sons from Aztlan. To the King,
The bold repaired; the timid and the weak,
All whom, averse from perilous wanderings, Soon o'er the lake a winged galley sped,
A gentler nature had disposed to peace, Wafting the Ocean Prince. He bore, preserved, Beneath the Strangers' easy rule remained. When Aztlan's bloody temples were cast down,
Now the third morning came. At break of day The Ashes of the Dead. The King received
The mountain echoes to the busy sound The relics, and his heart was full; his eye
Of multitudes. Before the moving tribe Dwelt on his father's urn. At length he said,
The Pabas bear, enclosed from public sight, One more request, 0 Madoc!- If the lake
Mexitli; and the aslies of the Kings Should ever to its ancient bounds return,
Follow the Chair of God.73 Yuhidihiton Shrined in the highest of Patamba's towers
Then leads the marshalled ranks, and by his side, Coanocotzin rests. But wherefore this?
Silent and thoughtfully, went Tlalala. Thou wilt respect the ashes of the King.
At the north gate of Aztlan, Malinal, Then said the Prince, Abide not here, 0 King,
Borne in a litter, waited their approach; Thus open to the changeful elements;
And now alighi as the train drew nigh, But till the day of your departure come,
Propt by a friendly arm, with feeble stcp Sojourn with me.—Madoc, that must not be!
Advanced to meet the King. Yuhidthiton, Yuhidthiton replied. Shall I behold
With eye severe and darkening countenance, A stranger dwelling in my father's house?
Met his advance. I did not think, quoth he, Shall I become a guest, where I was wont
Thou wouldst have ventured this! and liefer far To give the guest his welcome?—lle pursued,
Should I have borne away with me the thought After short pause of speech,-For our old men, That Malinal had shunned his brother's sight, And helpless babes and women; for all those
Because their common blood yet raised in him
A sense of his own shame!-Comest thou to show
Calm and low the youth replied,
As he spake,
And called him father. At the joyful sound
With that he took
So in the land
So saying, to his heart he held the youth,
Thus he cried,
Note 1, page 197, col. 1.
Stood Madoc. Long after these lines had been written, I was pleased at finding the same feeling expressed in a very singular specimen of metrical auto-biography:
A Nao, despregando as velas
Ja se aproveita do vento;
Os Portuguezes ja cheios
Na terra se vam revendo
De que tem conhecimento,
Vam ledamente co dedo.
Seus jubilos manifestos ;
Vai de hum notarel silencio.
Tumultuante, que dentro
De sobresalio os effeitos.
Vai ao suspirado termo,